Your Palm Sunday 2018 Sermon Notes

In some places it might not have been possible to preach for any length because of the extent of the rites. However, I also suppose that in some places Father (or His Excellency, His Grace, His Lordship, His Eminence) did, in fact, discourse.

Was there a good point made in the sermon you heard at your Mass of Sunday obligation? Let us know.  A GOOD point!  This isn’t open for griping.

For my part, I reminded people briefly after the first Gospel that we are our rites. Participating in these sacred mysteries makes them present to us, us to them.  We reviewed some of the historical events of the day, the 1st Palm Sunday procession into the city, and then the short period before the Day of Preparation for Passover.  They were packed with action.

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  1. Simon_GNR says:

    One simple point made by our celebrant was that although the story of the Passion reads like a great drama we must remember it is true – it actually happened.

  2. iPadre says:

    I compared Palm Sunday to Our Lord’s entrance through the Golden Gate. We are entering the “Golden Gate” to Holy Week. And through the grace of the Sacred Liturgies of this week we may enter the mysteries of the Sacred Passion and they may penetrate our souls.

  3. My homily was briefer, but I figure that when people have been standing so long, they are glad to have at least something of a breather; so a not-too-long homily is not unwelcome.

    At any rate, my homily was a continuation of a theme all through Lent: my homilies have been on the Mass. I planned the series so that I would lead everyone to the threshold of the Eucharistic Prayer, because there is a similitude between the Eucharistic Prayer as the heart of the Mass, and the events of Holy Week, as the heart of our Faith. My intention is to dig into the Prayer itself on Holy Thursday, and then for Easter, pick up with or after the Per Ipsum.

    FYI, I will be offering Mass ad orientem for the Triduum. Today’s homily (and a prior one two weeks ago) prepared for this, by pointing out that from the Preface forward, the priest is addressing the Father, as if in the throne room of heaven; and the priest is, in a sense, alone as mediator, before the Father, as Christ is alone on the Cross, with his gaze mostly on the Father.

  4. frjim4321 says:

    (This is outline only, it was more “fleshed out” in the presentation.)

    Palm Sunday / Passion Sunday, among other things, is an invitation to enter into the Church’s celebration of the Paschal Mystery. It can be seen as an invitation to gather as a parish family to observed the Sacred Triduum or the Three Sacred Days of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday.

    But while it is that, is is much more besides; it is an invitation – or better yet a challenge – to enter into a deeper sharing in the Paschal Mystery of the Life, Suffering, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. But another way, it is a challenge to embrace the concept of love as it is embrace by the Church; indeed, by inviting us deeper into our appreciation of the unfolding of the Paschal Mystery in our own lives, it simultaneously draws us ever more deeply into the mystery of love.

    We know about love, humanly; we know about the emotion, intimacy and romance that is associated with love, but for Catholic Christians we know there is more, and the three movements of the Sacred Triduum can be seen as representing three facets of true love.

    First, there is love as service; a love that reaches out in charity and compassion to those who are most in need. We see this kind of love demonstrated by Jesus at the Last Supper as he washed the feet of the women and men who were his closest friends. We ritually give witness to our acceptance of the challenge to serve as Jesus served at the Washing of the Feet at the Mass of the Lord’s Supper.

    Second, there is love as sacrifice; a love that in characterized by a kind of giving and pouring out of oneself without the expectation of repayment, without the expectation of receiving anything back in return. Perhaps we see this exemplified most dramatically in our day-t0-day lives in the love of parents toward their children, as when they, like Jesus Christ most excellently did by pouring out his life for us, give of themselves without any thought of what they will get in return. We ritually give witness to our acceptance of the challenge to love sacrificially when we come forward in veneration of the cross, for only in fully appreciating what Jesus Christ did for each and everyone one of us will we have full access to the powers that enable us to pour out ourselves in both small ways and large, as did – for example – Archbishop Oscar Romero and the Holy Women Martyrs of El Salvador.

    Third, along with love as service and sacrifice, there is a love that is solidarity. It is expressed be belonging, by our communion, it is expressed by our realization that true love demands encounter. For us, as Catholic Christians, this kind of encounter has roots with the sacraments of belonging; the sacraments of initiation: Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist. At the Easter Vigil, as our catechumen Joseph receives these sacraments he will do so not in isolation, but within the loving embrace of our entire parish community. He will enter the font of baptism, united with Jesus Christ in his death; and will emerge from those waters united with Jesus Christ in his resurrection.

    We should each come back these week to celebrate the Easter Mystery fully on Thursday evening at 7, Good Friday at 3, and Holy Saturday at 9. Or if necessary, we might only be able to attend part of the Triduum. Whether we can, or cannot, we all need to give serious condition to the quality of the loving that we are doing. We will know that we are Christian not only by our love, but by its quality, and the degree to which it embodies the service, sacrifice and solidarity to which we are called by the example of Jesus Christ.

  5. Prayerful says:

    Fr in his homily reminded people that the the disciples, the first bishops, deserted Jesus, just a short time after they had entered into their office. The Church is led by fallible men for whom we should pray, be he Pope or bishop or priest, all of them. I didn’t catch a deal of it as I had been in the confessional when it was being preached, there might have been other points made, but it was strong, ever relevant point.

  6. TonyO says:

    My pastor, after a solid homily about Jesus suffering (along with all the OTHER forms of suffering) in his emotional faculties as well, due to the turning of the crowd against him, the abandonment of his apostles, the denial of Peter, and (especially) the betrayal by Judas.

    He then wrapped up with a note for all the people there who don’t usually go to mass (attendance was probably up by 20% over normal): he welcomed them warmly, and then STRONGLY invited them to go to confession in the next few days, ( I think he is holding confession every day through Wednesday) and AFTER THAT receive communion, and not before. He was quite explicit about their not being in a worthy state if they have not been practicing, until they go to confession. Great to hear from the pulpit, I gotta say: this pastor may not be perfect, but he is solid as all get out, and never holds back from teaching the full truth whether it is in season or out.

  7. Sawyer says:

    Father highlighted the word “passion” in Passion Sunday. He said one fruitful way to participate in the Lord’s Passion is to rightly order our own passions to accord with God’s will, as Jesus submitted completely to the Father’s will during his Passion. Thus reading and praying any of the Gospel Passion narratives is a spiritual exercise for ordering our lives toward submitting to the will of God.

  8. Tom Ormon II says:

    Along the lines of Jesus weeping for Jerusalem, as he weeps for us now {… and not to allow ourselves to be as “fickle” (homilist didn’t use that exact word) as the crowd was who shouted “Hosanna” only to shout “crucify him” days later}. The jest of it being to live our lives throughout the week in accordance with what we proclaim every Sunday.

  9. theresa ann says:

    Here on the South Shore, ground zero, Boston Diocese, 10:30 a Family Mass, we were encouraged to sing to the tune of ,”The Farmer and The Dell”, “Jesus is the King”, “Jesus is the King”, ” We honor Him with this song today, Jesus is the King”. After a procession of the children, holding either red ribbons or palms. Happy clappy.


  10. Nan says:

    Father told us that Jesus is more present for us now than He was for those in Jerusalem when he was in human form, which is why we hold our Palm fronds and pussy willow shoots up the whole time, and greet Him as children.

    The protocol is slightly different for the blessing, as the Palm and pussy willow bundles are at the front of the church and the liturgy begins by blessing them, then everyone processed to the front for the blessed foliage, afyer which we processed up and down the block.

    Upon return to the Church, we entered into prayer for the Annunciation as feast days are layered upon one another in the Byzantine Rite.

  11. jilly4life says:

    The deacon talked about the meaning of Hosanna (Save us). So as Jesus enters Jerusalem, the people are shouting “Save us.” He made some good point surrounding that. Of course this was just after my youngest child burst out crying at “But Jesus cried out again in a loud voice,
    and gave up his spirit.” and the church was dead quiet as people went to kneel. I didn’t know whether to feel embarrassed or to think it was oddly appropriate, as I made a hasty exit.

  12. JonPatrick says:

    Palm Sunday is bittersweet as it starts celebratory but ends with the passion. Note that Jesus is silent during the triumphal entry into Jerusalem as he knows human nature and that the people shouting Hosanna now will be shouting “crucify him” in a few days. Even during the passion itself he says little as he had emptied himself. As predicted in Isaiah (“like a lamb led to the slaughter he opened not his mouth”) and Psalm 22. The message of Good Friday is not so much words but “body language”. In the Jewish tradition Friday starts sundown Thursday with the Last Supper where Jesus offers his body and blood under the forms of bread and wine.

  13. Joseph Mendes says:

    Our TLM chaplain quoted one of Cardinal Newman’s Palm Sunday sermons:

    “Now I bid you recollect that he to whom these things were done was Almighty God. He was not a mere man, he was not a mere courageous martyr, he was indeed not a human person at all, but rather, the second Person of the Blessed Trinity, the eternal Son of God. For us men and for our salvation, propter nos homines et nostram salutem (as we say in the Creed), that is, for you, and for me, he was seized, bound, struck, mocked, spit upon, crowned with thorns, unjustly condemned, scourged, made to carry his cross, and crucified. If our hearts contain any love of God, or indeed, any fear of God, we should tremble when we recollect that he to whom these things were done, was almighty God.”

  14. Michael Haz says:

    No homily on Passion Sunday this year, as the Canons had received permission for a pre-1962 form of the Mass. Perhaps 1955, sorry but a loud toddler kept me from hearing the announcement.

    It was two Masses, actually. The first Mass was the blessing and distributing of the palms, and a proecssion. That was followed immediately by the second Mass. Parts of the Gospel were sung by the Canon, two subdeacons, male members of the choir, and female members of the choir.

    It was utterly heavenly. As I was leaving the church I glanced at my watch and was surprised that two and one-half hours had passed, and that there were tears in my eyes. I am looking forward to the services this Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

  15. Ef-lover says:

    In the Byzantine rite we celebrated both the Feast of the Annunciation of the Theotokos and Palm/Flowery Sunday. The Divine Liturgy was marked with the blessing and procession with willow branches and also with a double Epistles and Gospels one for the annunciation and the other for Palm Sunday. Farther talked about the importance of the annunciation in the Byzantine rite that the feast is always observed, then he made the connection between the annunciation and the Passion of Our Lord.

  16. hwriggles4 says:

    Mass yesterday afternoon @1730 hours:

    After the Passion was read from the Gospel (not the condensed version in brackets) our Parochial Vicar spoke about the sacrifices Jesus made. We need to remember this sacrifice, particularly during Holy Week. Jesus died for us.

    A good priest once said (not during a homily) that many young people today have not had to experience “sacrifices”. Sacrifice, and learning to do without, is part of “discipline”. As a rock song I remember has a line, “You Don’t Always Get What You Want.”

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